SimCity Sales Top 1m, About Half Were Non-Refundable Digital Versions

SimCity‘s launch two weeks ago was nothing short of a disaster for everyone who purchased the game. Electronic Arts and Maxis’ lack of server planning resulted in customers having to wait in 30 minute server queues (which would often reset once the timer ran down) just to play the online-only game. Even those who managed to get into a server often found themselves booted out of their game due to “server maintenance”. The server situation was mostly resolved after about a week, which naturally led to the next set of problems. Players soon discovered that the game’s traffic AI bordered on being broken, and that they were basically lied to about the SimCity‘s true population size and its offline capabilities.

Had a video game publisher attempted to launch a new IP in this state, it would have gone down in flames. As it stands, EA and Maxis did this to the beloved SimCity franchise and the game is apparently a huge sales hit. Behold the power of marketing and brand recognition.

Electronic Arts has announced that more than 1.1 million units of SimCity have been sold over the last week, which makes this the biggest launch in the franchise’s long history. Additionally, the publisher bragged that 44% of these purchases were made through Origin’s digital download service, which means EA sold 484K non-refundable copies of SimCity.

Hooray for the death of consumer rights!

EA has also detailed how customers can get their promised free Origin game for all the trouble the online-only SimCity has caused. As of today, every player that has activated a copy of SimCity will receive an email containing directions on how to redeem their title. A redemption portal will be opened up worldwide for everyone to select their game by March 22. Players must register their copy of SimCity before March 25, 2013 at 11:59 PM PDT and the free game must be claimed by March 30, 2013 at 11:59PM PDT.

The list of free games that SimCity players will have to choose from, includes:

  • Battlefield 3 (Standard Edition)
  • Bejeweled 3
  • Dead Space 3 (Standard Edition)
  • Mass Effect 3 (Standard Edition)
  • Medal of Honor Warfighter (Standard Edition)
  • Need For Speed Most Wanted (Standard Edition)
  • Plants vs. Zombies
  • SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition 
Anyone else find it a bit ironic that SimCity 4 is being offered as one of the free games?